Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Four Korean Women Scale Trango Tower in Skardu

Four Korean women have returned to Skardu after scaling the Trango Tower (6,239 metres high), also called Nameless Tower.
According to Hamid Hussain, a representative of the expedition organisers, Mi Sun Chae, Mi Sun Han and Jin Ah Lee led by Jum Sook Kim began to climb the Trango Tower, a very large, pointed and rather symmetrical rock spire, on July 26 but had to return to the base camp on August 4 due to bad weather.
They left the rock spire on August 8 after the weather cleared and succeeded in reaching the summit on the August 12 morning.
Earlier in 2006, 20 Slovenian women had climbed the peak.
“We used the German route, the most challenging, to reach the summit,” Ms Kim told Dawn.
On average, all four Korean women have the 20 years rock climbing experience.
Ms Kim, 47, is a noted climbing instructor in Korea.
She began to climb rocks in 1989 and surmounted several peaks in the Alps, the US, Canada and India.
Also, Ms Kim won the first prize at Korean Sport Climbing Games in 1993 and the second prize at X-Games in 1999.
Mi Chae, 41, works at a shop in Korea.
She won the first prize at the Korean Ice Climbing Games in 2000, 2001 and 2002, and second at the Korean Aid Climbing Festival in 2007.
Until now, Ms Chae has scaled El Capitan at Yosemite National Park in the US, Mt McKinley in Alaska, Grand Jorasse in the Alps and Mt Fitzroy in Argentina.
Ms Han, 41, is a freelancer and climbing instructor.
She has won the first prize at the Korean Aid Climbing Games in 2010 and second at the Korean Ice Climbing Games in 2009 and 2011.
Ms Han has surmounted rocks in the area of Blue Mountains in Australia, El Capitan at Yosemite National Park in America, the central Peak of Paine Chile Pantagonia and Mt. Fitzroy in Argentina in, Mount Blanc and Aiguille du Midi in the Alps until now.Ms Lee, 38, is the youngest member of the expedition.
A nurse by profession, she began her climbing career in 1998 and won the first prize at the Korean Summer Dry Tooling Games in 2011, second at Korean Ice Climbing Games in 2008 and Korean Summer Dry Tooling Games in 2012, third at Korean Bouldering Games in 2005 and Korean Ice Climbing Games in 2006, and fourth at the Korean Sport Climbing Games in 2005.
The four climbers are carrying out charity work in Baltistan for the poor people.
“We are planning to send some clothes, shoes and other relief items to Pakistani poor people once a year. We hope that our project continue for a long time,” Ms Kim said.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

NSF: Rahat Kazmi, Alia Amirali

Rahat Kazmi, Alia Amirali by beenasarwar
Rahat Kazmi, Alia Amirali, a photo by beenasarwar on Flickr.
Listen to Alia Amirali here!

Malala Receives Children's Peace Prize

Malala's speech is here.
She got  Tipperary International Peace Award.

Malala and Tawwakul at the Hague

America is about to bomb Syria...

I think that it's about time that they should stop thinking of themselves as world police.
We have seen the contribution of American forces in Iraq such as Abu Gharib and daily bombing till date and then Afghanistan, where the American are sitting on the same table with Taliban for dialogue after all these years and last but not the least, arming the rebels anywhere is dangerous such as in Libya or arming of Afghans during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in lste 70s...
Americans don't know how to unarm all these wild men.

Demonstrations are already being held all over the major US cities and in London. Two countries in favour of starting an all out war with syria.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Deadline for 2013 Video Contest about Korea Extended

 Ministry of Foreign Affairs the Republic of Korea has extended the deadline for '2013 Video Contest about Korea.' We will accept applications until October 7, 2013. This contest is open to anyone of any age who is not of Korean descent. The prizes for the contest include a Korean brand car, a laptop PC, a tablet PC, a digital camera and an external hard drive.

Of the two titles, which are “My best Korean friend is…” and “My favorite Korean food is…,” applicants may select one to make a video of less than 3 minutes. The video may be made with any device, such as cell phone, digital camera, video camera, etc. Applicants may post their completed video on YouTube or any other legal website. Lastly, applicants need to fill out a simple application form and send the form along with the link to their video to vcon.mofa@gmail.com. You can download the application form from the website of the ROK Foreign Ministry.
☞ Download application form
Source: MOFAT

Sunday, August 25, 2013

World Rowing Championships in Chungju, Korea


The World Rowing Championships (WRC) will begin today,Sunday, in Chungju, a quiet town in Korea’s central region which hopes the event will help raise its international profile as a tourist destination. Chungju is famous for Martial Arts Festival which is held every  October.

The competition, which will continue through Sept. 1, will feature more than 2,000 athletes from 82 countries, making it the largest world championship ever.


The North Chungcheong Province town is only the second Asian city to host the rowing tournament, which took place in Kaizu, Japan, in 2005. The rowing course built on Tangeum Lake will also be used as the competition venue in next year’s Incheon Asian Games.

Pre-sale tickets have sold out. The opening ceremony scheduled for Saturday is expected to be attended by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a native of Chungju.

The municipal government spent around 67.2 billion won (about $60 million) to build state-of-the-art facilities at Tangeum Lake, including a 2.25-kilometer rowing course and a spectator stand capable of seating 1,100 people.

A floating, 1.4-kilometer concrete bridge was installed on the rowing course. The bridge is capable of holding broadcasting vans and other television equipment.

It remains to be seen whether the world championships will spark local interest in the sport, which barely registers with public consciousness.

Strong rowing nations include Britain, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, and the Korean presence has been close to anonymous.

Korean athletes in recent months have shown flashes of improvement.

 The best thing about Chungju is its serene beauty, it's mountains, lake and rice peddys.
I loved to go to Chungju and witness the new hub of sports events in Korea, since I'm very keen in martial arts and Chungju is the World's Martial Arts mecca so what can you ask for more. Attractions that are worth a visit include Martial Arts Museum (MAM), Apple Museum and a couple of monastries. MAM show cast the history of all sorts of martial arts in Korea and beyond starting  from Taekyyeon to Taekwondo and to Hapkido.

Chungju is famous for its apricots and apples. I will strongly recommend people to add Chongju in their itinerary while in Korea.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sgt Robert Bales Trial vs. Bradley Manning

Robert Bales

BBC reported that Staff Sgt Robert Bales was making a case for why he should some day be released, during his sentencing hearing at a Washington state military base and for detail click here.

If you do NOT remember Bales then his crime was that he massacred 16 Afghan civilians in Kandahar in two diferent villages, many of his victims were women and children.

Since we know that life of people in Asia is cheap hence, for all the 15 people killed by Bales, the American government paid a total of $980,000 in condolence money to families over the incident. An Afghan man, Wazir, whose 11 family members were shot dead by Bales received $550,000 in condolence payments out of that$980,000.

Sentence of Bales: If he is sentenced to life with the possibility of parole, Sgt Bales could be eligible for release in 20 years.

My view: Possibility of the release of this jerk just scares the crap right out of me. BBC also reported that it's disputed whether he actually does feel remorse, playing a recording of a phone call in which an incarcerated Sgt Bales and his wife laugh as they discuss the case.

Bradley Manning

Manning was working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad in 2010 when he gave WikiLeaks a trove of diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts that included a 2007 gunsight video of a U.S. Apache helicopter firing at suspected insurgents in Iraq, killing a dozen people including two Reuters news staff and injuring two children. (I could NOT see this entire footage, it's graphic).

But 35 years is far too long a sentence by any standard. …

However, if you just kill a couple of dozen people and get away with 20 years like in Bales case is beyond my comprehension. Culpable homicide is seemingly a lesser crime than leaking official documents that does include the US policy of killing innocent citizens in the name of collateral damage.

Manning is treated much more harshly than Robert Bales....unbelievable!!

Interview of Susan Bradley(Bradley's mom) is here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Thai PM in Pakistan: Wrong Focus in Pak Media

Dawn newspaper reported that Pakistan and Thailand have agreed to enhance defence cooperation, a joint statement issued by the two countries at the end of Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s visit to Islamabad said.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Clash of Korean Culture with the Rest:Boiling Clothes in a Cooking Pan!

It's a weekend here already. This Saturday morning when I went to our grad school's kitchen preparing my breakfast, a girl, who is a  Chinese junior visiting researcher (of Korean ethnicity), came in. She took out the cooking pots and put her towels and started boiling them. I and another Russian student told her to stop, since we cook our food in those pots. She said: this is Korean culture that you boil clothes in a pot before washing them and there is nothing unusual.It's O.K!

I have lived with 2 Korean families and one of them used to boil clothes in a pot- but that pot was NOT USED for cooking.

The girl kept arguing and finally did what she wanted to do and left.

I do NOT mind boiling of clothes in a proper manner but I DO MIND IF the clothes are boiled in a pot, which is used for the prurpose of cooking in a communal kitchen. There are students from about 40 or 50 countries and all of them have their own cultural dos and don't s. If we are living together, there MUST BE  some respect for people from other cultures. It's not about: do in Rome as Romans did, especially in some cases where hygeine, cleaniliness is of utmost importance. A couple of years ago, in the grad school dorm,  SARS was reported.

We don't want people to boil their clothes in cooking utensils. It is disgusting and is morally wrong!!HIding behind "any" culture is even worst!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Korean Independence Day – 광복절 (Gwangbokjeol)

Korean Independence Day–광복절 (Gwangbokjeol)–is celebrated on Aug. 15 each year and it commemorates a couple of significant events in Korea’s history. The literal meaning of "광복절(光復節)" is "the restoration of the light". The entire city is decorated with the Korean flags and it looks quite pretty.

Some of the other events that unfolded include the liberation of Korea from 35 years of Japanese colonial rule when the Japanese army surrendered during WWII, thus ending the Japanese occupation of Korea.Three years later on October 1, 1948, the Republic of Korea was officially established. On Gwangbokjeol, all buildings and homes are encouraged to display the national flag, Taegukki, and most public museums and places are open free of charge. The official Gwangbokjeol song is sung at official ceremonies and the government also traditionally issues special pardons on this day.  During it’s time as a Japanese colony, Koreans were required to give up their culture and heritage. They were forced to take on Japanese names, speak Japanese, learn Japanese history, and eat Japanese foods. So when Japan surrendered the Koreans had much to rejoice over.

On Aug. 15, 1948, Syngman Rhee was sworn in as the first president of the Republic of Korea (South Korea). Gwangbokjeol was declared public holiday in South Korea on Oct. 1, 1949.

North Korea celebrates the liberation holiday on Aug. 15 as well. Their holiday is called Chogukhaebangui nal (조국해방의 날; literally “Liberation of Fatherland Day”).

Jashane Azadi Mubarak!

Northern Pakistan

Today is Pakistan's Independence Day so I congratulate all Pakistanis on that - Azadi Mubarak ho!

Looking at the newspapers including Dawn and the Express Tribune, I couldn't gte the feel of August 14th or Jashane Azadi. I remember, in Zia's era, it was a big event and then it slowly dies away!
My older post of the event are here and here.

Google has a very nice doodle for the independence of Pakistan featuring the Northern part of teh country with, Markhor ( Capra falconeri; Persian/Urdu: مارخور), K-2 and the flag!

Pakistanis who are living in Pakistan they must learn to live in harmony - they seem blood thrusty towards fellow Pakistanis. We do NOT need enemies anymore since we are our own enemy!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Blog About Karachi in Korean Language!

I was searching a word in Korean and came across this blog here. Check it put!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) Festival


2013 National Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon) Festival will be held from tomorrow through next Thursday in frontof Gwanghwamun! The major event took place in Busan

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Eid Mubarak! (이드 무바락 여러분! )


Eid Mubark everybody!
Eid-al Fitr 2013 USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia will be celebrated on 8th August that means that in South Korea we will be celebrating Eid tomorrow!

Eid in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh is on 9th. August!

Eid ul Fitr is celebrated for completion of the holy month of Ramadan and Muslims celebrate it after seeing the moon of the new month. The main aim of the festival of Eid ul Fitre is to thanks Almighty Allah (SWT). Eid Al Fitr is a day of joy and thanksgiving.  It is also a day of forgiveness and good feelings towards other fellow human beings.

Read more here.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

From Heat Wave to Rain Storms...

It was very hot in the last couple of days here in Korea, hotter than in Pakistan. Yesterday evening, the skies turned cloudy and finally had strong winds and rain together. Lightening and  thunder followed for a couple of minutes about 20 min. In the begining, I was very excited and jumped out in rain but in 10 minutes, I had enough, I started to feel cold  - took a quick shower and then enjoyed the rain from the inside.

This type of rain reminds me of Islamabad....I'm happy!!

Right now, it's so dark as if at night, strong winds and rain are hitting the windows, hope all is well.

For weather forecast click here at KMA.

Quraish Pur passes away!

Quraish Pur was everybody's favourite at home. When we were growing up, at numerous occasions especially on the independence day celebrations and 23rd March we were used to to listen to his commentary every year in beautiful Urdu.

Quraish Pur, a distinguished intellectual and host of the popular Pakistani quiz show 'Kasuati', passed away in Karachi on Monday.
Quraish Pur became a household name throughout the country during the 1970s when he hosted 'Kasauti', one of the country's longest-running and most popular television quiz shows.
Quraish Pur had joined Pakistan Television (PTV) in 1973 as Presentation Controller and retired in 1992 as the head of the department. Other than Kasauti, he was also the host of popular TV programmes Sheshay Ka Ghar and Zoq-i-Agahi.
Along with his colleagues on Kasauti – Obaidullah Baig, Iftikhar Arif and later Ghazi Salahuddin – Quraish Pur was renowned for extraordinary knowledge of history, literature, geography and the sciences.

Read more here at the Source and also here.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mehdi Hasan | Islam Is A Peaceful Religion | Oxford Union

Shimshal Village Skiers

Niamat Karim (27) and his younger brother Mansoor Karim (15) belong to Shimshal, Gojal - one of the beautiful  valleys  of Gilgit-Baltistan. A mountaineer by profession for the last 13 years. They are probably the only duo  interested in slope skiing in Pakistan - which is one of the most fascinating yet dangerous sports around the world. 

Shimshal Skiier  (1) 

Nature has bestowed Pakistan with the highest peaks and mountains which remain covered with snow throughout the year. Skiing in Pakistan is an old sport but Alpine skiing (mountain skiing) is a new chapter introduced to the history of sports of Pakistan. No one in Pakistan has undertaken this endeavour before and the brothers are the first to introduce it. 

Mansoor Karim who is only 15 availed the opportunity and became the fortunate ones. It is not easy to ski from 6000 meters height. It requires sophisticated equipments and training. Such expeditions require clear weather and good health. 


ACcoridng to the brothers they started the seven days expedition on July 10th, 2013 and attempted for the first peak QuzSar which is 6000 meters high and took three hours to the summit, stayed on the top for an hour due to the worsening weather. It was snowing. It took them 15 minutes to ski down to camp. 

On 12th of July they attempted for Mingling Sar which is 6050 meters high. It took 6 hours to reach the summit and ski down at the advance base camp in seventeen minutes. After two days rest they again started another  expedition on 15th July. This time it was an unclimbed peak which is 6000 meters high. We reached the summit in 3 hours and stayed there for 15 minutes and descended in 10 minutes. 

Mansoor who is just 15 years old has become the youngest Pakistani ever to successfully attempt Alpine skiing. He started his career as a professional skier in 2008 and has attended various trainings in Shimshal.

According to the author, they want to promote skiing especially Alpine skiing (Mountain Ski) as a sport in Pakistan and expect the government’s support in this regard. Pakistan can become the hot spot for Alpine Skiing and side country ski sports and this will promote tourism and mountain adventure sports.They are keen that other youngsters join hands with them...


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Best Sandwich in Seoul

The tiny kitchen at Casablanca in Haebangcheon is an alchemist’s workshop. The alchemists are Wahid and Karim Naciri, and they have managed to do something that many other restaurateurs fail at: create culinary gold from scratch.
Everything on their menu is good, but their Moroccan chicken sandwich is the best sandwich in Seoul, for a number of reasons. Wahid, 27, knows his sandwich is very good; he is a trained chef, and a deceptively large amount of work goes into creating each one. They sell out every day.
All cooking is alchemical to an extent; fry raw potatoes in hot oil and they transform from something inedible into something delicious with a completely different texture, taste, look and smell. But the Moroccan chicken sandwich at Casablanca is something different. The Naciri brothers have managed to take many disparate ingredients, apply to them their knowledge of tradition Moroccan food and various time-consuming techniques, and distill them into one glorious whole. The final product is unique in texture, taste and conception.
The sandwich-making process begins long before the sandwich is actually assembled, when Wahid preserves lemons using “sous-vide,” a French technique that cooks vacuum-sealed food slowly in a bath of temperature-controlled water. The lemons provide the basis for the chicken breast marinade. They marinate the breasts overnight in the preserved lemons, olive oil, garlic and a Moroccan spice blend called “ras el hanout.” The marinated chicken breast provides the spicy tartness for the sandwich.
The next step, and what makes the sandwich unlike anything else you can find in Seoul, is the preparation of “makooda,” a traditional Moroccan street food. Mashed potatoes are good. Fried potatoes are good. Why hasn’t anyone ever thought of frying mashed potatoes? In fact, someone has. Moroccans. Karim takes care of this step. He scoops balls of mashed potato from a big bowl, dunks them in a thin yellow batter, then plops them into hot oil. The result is hot balls of mashed potato, with a slightly crispy exterior. And yes, they go on the sandwich.
“When you make a sandwich, you can put in anything you like,” Wahid said.
Just as important as the makooda and chicken is the vehicle for them, in this case French bread from a Syrian bakery in Itaewon. Each sandwich comes on half of an almond-shaped loaf. It has many of the same characteristics of New Orleans-style French bread – it’s crunchy on the outside, but once you start eating it smashes down and molds to your hand.
The sandwich comes dressed with lettuce, tomato, olives, dill pickles and mayonnaise. The combination of crunchy bread, soft makooda and firm chicken breast is a feat of texture combination.
The Naciri brothers have cooking in their blood. Their father runs a restaurant for taxi drivers in Rabat.
“He might come some day and fix what’s wrong,” Wahid said.
He might not find much to fix.
Casablanca is located on Haebangcheon’s main street, between Family Mart and Phillies. The Moroccan chicken sandwich is 4,000 won. They open at 5 p.m. and close whenever the bread runs out.


Korean Language Proficiency Test (TOPIK) Preparation Classes - Opens August, 2013.

How to Apply: Must visit the Seoul Global Center in person

(Pre-registration via e-mail or phone is not allowed and admission will be given on a first-come, first-served basis).


Registration Date

-          1st Registration: 3rd, August (SAT) ~ 4th, August (SUN) between 10AM-12PM

-          2nd Registration: 5th, August (MON) ~ 9TH, August (FRI) between 9AM-6PM

*If the registration exceeds appropriate number of people, it might finish soon.


Required Documents: Alien Registration Card (ARC) or Passport ,

one 3x4 cm photo (color), test appliance fee 40,000 won (cash only, non-refundable)


Course Duration: 10 th, August, 2013 ~ 12, October, 2013 (9 weeks) 

Course Fees: Free 

  Class Materials: Must purchase, will be notified on the 1st day of the class 

  Class Size & Type: About 10-15 students 

 For other inquires 

Person in Charge: Ms. Kim Ja Hyun (김자현) at the Seoul Global Center

Phone: (02) 2075~4148 (Weekday), (02) 2075~4162 (Weekend),

Email: sgcwekc@gmail.com

Office Hours: 9:00~18:00 (lunch 12:00-13:00)